What is the Accelerated Reader Program?
Our Accelerated Reader Program took off under the leadership of our librarian, Lynn Egan. Starting in January of 2001, she began tracking third through fifth grade student progress using this program. With Accelerated Reader, students took a reading comprehension quiz on the computer on a book based on their reading level. We used a computerized reading test and from that score used it as the basis to determine which grade level the student was reading at in the Accelerated Reader program. At that time we were site based and had just over 1,500 books in the library leveled from K through 6th grade.
To show the students the progress their class was making, Mrs. Egan hung paper chains above her workstation for every book read and quiz passed. Students received a prize if they scored 100% on a quiz passed. During the first two weeks of the program, students read 222 books. By four weeks into the program, they read 568 books, and by six weeks, they had read 901 books. Students received a prize if they scored 100% on a quiz. In addition, the class with the highest number of books read and the highest percentage of quizzes passed were rewarded with a Pizza Party at the end of the school year!
Accelerated Reader Program
The basic structure still continues today; however, we are now completely web-based which gives us access to over 100,000 quizzes. Our library has over 6,700 titles with quizzes and the number will continue to grow as new titles are added to our collection. The program now includes 2nd grade and we have more titles that will challenge students who are reading above 5th grade. The way of recording progress has also changed from the paper chains to class progress boards that show each student's individual growth within the entire class.
Each student is required to complete either 5 or 10 books within each level prior to moving to the next level. They are required to select books from easy picture, non-fiction and chapter books. The class progress boards provide students with current data each week during their classroom visits which tells them what they have completed and what they still have left to complete in order to move to the next level. Students now receive prizes based on a point system rather than percentage passed.
What is an AR Quiz?
An AR quiz determines the student's comprehension of the AR book they read. Each quiz has either 5 or 10 questions that are presented in sequential order in relation to the book. Quizzes are not timed; therefore, students have as much time as they need to complete the quiz. Also, please keep in mind that
Accelerated Reader is just another tool to assess your child's reading progress: it is by no means the only assessment for your child.
Note to Parents: To help your child perform well on these weekly quizzes, encourage them to read their AR book from the library throughout the week, at least 3 times (especially for level blue and red readers), Another suggestion is to read with them and then quiz them to make sure they understand everything they are reading. These types of at home study habits help prepare students for their weekly quizzes. Your involvement makes a huge difference in how your child performs. What is of most importance for parents to know is IF your child is not reading and studying their AR books, they WILL NOT pass. This not only has an effect on their own reading development and AR progress, but also effects classroom progress towards end of the year goals (ie. pizza party). For questions or additional advise about ways to assist your child, please see your teacher to further discuss.